Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russia investigators

Jun 17, 2017, 11:21

President Trump dismissed a potential obstruction of justice investigation into his conduct, calling allegations of collusion between him, his campaign or people associated with him and Russian Federation a "phony story".

Trump relies heavily in social media outlets, twitter in particular, to communicate directly with his followers across the country.

To that end, in a tweet sent an hour later, the president appeared to go right after Mueller's character, saying that the Russian Federation investigation is being "led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

The meeting comes a day after lawmakers questioned Justice Department officials about the probe and Mueller's independence, and after a friend of Trump said the White House was considering firing Mueller. "Nice", he tweeted Thursday morning. The essence of Comey's testimony was that the president asked him to drop an investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn - Trump's former national security adviser - and then asked him to do so in return for keeping his job as FBI director and then fired him for not obeying his order.

Those who have agreed to be interviewed include Dan Coats, director of national intelligence; Mike Rogers, chief of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, who recently left his post as deputy to Rogers.

Mueller has requested interviews with three current or former senior intelligence officials, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

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Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, immediately condemned the Post report.

At Vox, Ezra Klein details how the latest developments in the case exemplify how Trump continues to create his own legal troubles. Nor did he deny that he has entered the miniscule ranks of sitting presidents who have become subjects of criminal investigations.

The NSA said it will "fully co-operate with the special counsel" and declined to comment further. Coats testified that he "never felt pressure to intervene" in the Russian Federation investigation.

Late on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein-who is overseeing the Russian Federation investigation-issued a statement saying the Justice Department does not confirm or deny the kind of allegations in news reports about the probe, and encouraging the public to be skeptical of them.

"The brazen redefinition of Mueller's task tells you how arrogant the deep state is and how confident it is it can get away with anything", Gingrich said.

Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation.

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- An FBI inquiry of the Comey firing makes it more likely Rosenstein could be a witness, and thus potentially meet the parameters for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.

With Mueller maxed out and required to leave his post, President Barack Obama plucked Comey from the private sector and appointed him Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013.

The investigation into obstruction of justice into Trump reportedly started days after former FBI Director James Comey's May 9 ouster.

"I guess you feel like you just need to trust your president", said Richardson, a retiree from Meade County, Kentucky.

Comey told lawmakers last Thursday that he has concluded he was sacked in part because he refused to drop the FBI's investigation of Trump's campaign adviser and first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

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